New Emergency Rules Extend the Looming Marijuana Deadline


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  • Some marijuana facilities will have to close by September 15, 2018
  • Untested produce can continue to be sold
  • The new deadline is December 15, 2018

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced new emergency rules effective September 11, 2018, allowing some medical marijuana facilities to continue operating until December 15, 2018. There are four classes of cannabis facilities with temporary authorization to continue operating and each class is affected in different ways.

Who has to close up shop?

Some applicants will face roadblocks in the licensing process if they don’t close their doors by September 15th. If you applied on or before February 15, 2018, and submitted a Step 2 application after June 15, 2018, or have not submitted a Step 2 application yet, you can expect to receive a cease and desist notice from LARA. Those that remain open will be referred to law enforcement for unlicensed activity.

Who gets to remain open…for now?

If you applied by February 15, 2018, filed for Step 2 by June 15, 2018, and have local authorization to operate (and filed the Attestation E with LARA), you are safe from the cease and desist orders, at least for now. You need to receive a license by December 15th in order to continue operating after that date.

What about those applicants that received an approval for their license but it hasn’t been issued yet? You have 10 days to pay the regulatory assessment after which unlicensed operations may result in disciplinary action. Once the assessment has been paid, you can continue to operate with local authorization until the license is issued which LARA intends to issue on December 1, 2018.

Applicants that received a license prior to September 11, 2018, may return the license to LARA and continue operating with local authorization until the department reissues their license December 1, 2018.

What about untested product?

Under the new emergency rules, a licensee can sell untested product if they obtain a signed acknowledgment from the patient. Any product obtained prior to licensure can be sold after receiving a license, again with a signed acknowledgment. All product obtained after receiving a license must be obtained from another licensed facility and must be tested to comply with the law.

To close…or not to close? That is the question!

The bottom line is that the licensing board may choose to consider any unlicensed activity when approving or denying applications. Operating without a license is a business risk that applicants should not take lightly as non-compliance is grounds for disciplinary actions. Can you stay open? Sure. But the real question is, should you?

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